Diary of a High Street Conveyancer; 13th December 2021
As we come to the end of this year, and another manic rush to get to the finish line of Christmas, I think that we should all reflect on what 2021 has been like for conveyancers.
I have to be honest and say that on the one hand I am surprised how quickly this year has gone, but on the other it has felt like a never ending journey.
When I was a student, I learnt about the quarter days: 25th March (Lady Day), 24th June (Midsummer Day), 29th September (Michaelmas) and 25th December (Christmas).
This year, conveyancers have had pressure in every one of those four quarters. The original SDLT break was set to end in March until the extension to June. Then there was the tapering extension to the end of September, and now we have Christmas. This year for conveyancers seems to have centred on those days with the pressures of people wanting to move before each of those month ends.
Throughout my career, it has always surprised me how many people want to move before the Christmas break. I understand that people get extra time to get the boxes unpacked and have time away from work, but I have always thought how awful it must be to complete on a purchase just before Christmas and then find that there is a problem with the boiler or the cooker, and you are left with cold guests and no dinner on Christmas Day.
I always tell my clients to complete early in the New Year – have something to look forward to in dreary early January, when the Christmas lights come down, and the nights are long and cold. I was once in a chain where I was paid by a builder to open my office between Christmas and New Year just so that they could complete the sale of a house and meet their year end targets. The pressure at this time of year is the same as it has been throughout the other quarter days.
So with that in mind, be proud of what you have achieved.
There are millions of people who are spending Christmas in their new homes due to us conveyancers. They could not have done it without us. And as we go into the New Year reflect on what it has been like – the pressure, the volume of work, the rudeness and insensitivity of others – and think about how we can do it differently next year.
Can we be kinder to each other?
Can we increase our fees to reflect the risks of the work we do?
Can we push to have conveyancing become a more respected profession?
It’s in our hands!
This is written by a real high street conveyancer who wishes to remain anonymous. Read more in Today’s Conveyancer every week.